To be or not to be a Member State; with the referendum result of June1 what many Europeans across the bloc construed as being impossible became reality. Despite the referendum being an advisory vote, rather than mandatory, the British government is unlikely to disregard the vote. Indeed, any hopes that Britain would remain part of the bloc were dashed by Britain Prime Minister Theresa May who insisted that the referendum result must be respected and that ‘Brexit means Brexit.’2
Following the ‘Leave’ vote, Britain is expected to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union,3 the formal process of leaving the EU bloc. The ‘Leave’ vote thus signals the:
beginning of a lengthy process under which (i) the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from, and future relationship with, the EU are negotiated and (ii) legislation to implement the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is enacted (primarily in the UK, but also at the EU level and in other EU member states to the extent necessary).4
The legal basis and the procedure for a state to withdraw from the Union is primarily set up under Article 50 TEU and Article 218 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); the latter which deals with treaties between the Union and third countries.5 Although there is no formal time-frame established for the UK to trigger Article 50, the Government of the UK, together with the European Council and the Commission Presidents have stressed that ‘this should be done as quickly as possible’ due to the fact that before this date no negotiation can take place6 and a delay might cause uncertainty, and instability. Although actions have already been taken including Didier Seeuws’s appointment as the head of the special task force leading Brexit, questions regarding what is to happen next7 still remain, more so since this procedure has never been invoked before.
The rationale behind Article 50 TEU8
The possibility of a state withdrawing from the EU was highly controversial before the Lisbon Treaty introduced such a right through Article 50 TEU. The right of a Member State to withdraw from the Union was introduced as a result of several landmark decisions. These include the introduction of Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties9 pertaining to the clausula rebus sic stantibus which provides for a signatory state’s right to unilaterally withdraw from international treaties. Moreover, several constitutional courts have declared that a member state has a unilateral right to withdraw from the EU as part of preserving national sovereignty.10
Some authors disagree with the notion of unilateral rights, as they see the EU Member States more of ‘masters of the Treaties’ which could, in agreement, decide on the revocation of a Member State’s membership. Other scholars completely disagree with the notion of a withdrawal from the Union due to the EU’s ‘federal features’ and the constitutional content of the EU Treaties which refers to the Union as a ‘permanent organisation.’11
However, notwithstanding the opposition, the right of withdrawal was introduced in the draft Constitutional Treaty (which although not ratified bears great resemblance to the withdrawal provision in the Lisbon Treaty) as a ‘political signal’ against those arguing that the Union is a rigid entity from which exit is impossible.12 The introduction of this right, described as ‘a novelty since neither are any details concerning withdrawal processes laid down in previous treaties the European Union (EU), nor does the International Law give any specific guidelines,’13 extinguished the possibility of reverting to international law, and EU law presently governs the procedure and consequences of a withdrawal. This is significant since the EU lowers the threshold of criteria for a state to invoke the application of Article 50. Whilst the United Nations Treaty stipulates that a state party may only withdraw from the agreement if there is ‘a fundamental change of circumstances’, EU law establishes no substantive conditions; rather, it only establishes procedural requirements. This has been duly criticised due to the fact that the Member State would not even be required to formally state a reason for its decision and it is not required to seek agreement on the amendment of the Treaties before triggering Article 50.
The formal withdrawal procedure set out in Article 50
Rather than laying down any substantive conditions for the withdrawal of a member state from the EU, Article 50 TEU outlines the procedural requirements. The withdrawing Member State must notify the European Council of its intention and following the negotiations between the Union and the requesting Member State (in accordance with Article 218(3) of the TFEU), the ‘Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question’ (Article 50(3)).
The formal withdrawal procedure initiates with a formal notice of intention14 from the withdrawing state, in this case the United Kingdom, to the European Council. The Commission will submit recommendations on the negotiations to the Council,15 after which the latter issues guidelines for negotiations with the 27 other Member States with the aim of concluding an agreement setting out concrete withdrawal arrangements.16
According to Article 218(3) TFEU, the European Commission would make recommendations to the Council to open negotiations with the withdrawing state. The negotiator can be replaced by the Council as it deems fit, in accordance with the same article.17 The negotiations on the withdrawal agreement would then take place between the EU and the withdrawing state.18
Since the withdrawal agreement is not primarily EU Law but is also part of an international agreement, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) may challenge the agreement through an action for annulment (Article 263 TFEU). It has been debated whether the CJEU’s power in this regard could also extend to it delivering an opinion on the draft withdrawal agreement’s compatibility with EU law.19
The agreement between the State and the Union is limited to a time-frame of two years, which may be extended if Article 50(3) is invoked. Objectively speaking, this time-frame will probably not be sufficient to conclude all the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, considering that the withdrawal of Greenland which had less complex issues, took three years from the Exit vote to come into effect.20 During the interim period, the UK as a withdrawing state would formally remain an EU Member State with all the rights and obligations deriving from the Treaties applying to it. If within those two years an agreement has not been reached, and the timeframe was not extended through a unanimous decision by the Council, the Treaties would automatically cease being applicable to the UK,21 even in the absence of an alternative trading model or arrangement.22
Although the European Parliament plays no crucial role in the actual negotiations, it is an integral part of the whole process due to the fact that its consent would need to be obtained for the agreement to be concluded as per Article 50(2) TEU. There is no provision stipulating that the MEPs of the withdrawing state cannot participate in the discussions in the European Parliament, ostensibly because the MEPs of the withdrawing state can effectively participate in the debates and vote on the withdrawal of the state23. Thus, British Members of the European Parliament have a right to withhold their consent to the withdrawal agreement. On the contrary, the state concerned may not participate in the discussion of the other two institutions.
Furthermore, the agreement must be supported by a ‘qualified majority’, here defined as comprising at least 72% of the Members of the Council meaning 20 out of 27 Member States and at least 65% of the population of the Member State in the TEU, again without the participation of the state concerned.24 This does not mean that the withdrawal of the Member State must be acceded to by the other Member States, as in the case of the accession of a new Member State; it essentially means that any Treaty changes or international agreements (such as a free trade agreement) that might come naturally as a consequence of the withdrawal, would need to be ratified by the other Member States as per Article 48 TEU. Furthermore, Article 52 TEU on the territorial scope of the Treaties listing the Member States would need to be revised, along with the Protocols concerning the withdrawing Member State.25
A partial withdrawal and alternative models of relationship
A partial withdrawal has also been discussed and the prevailing view was that Article 50 has a black and white approach; thus, if the concerned Member State would want a different type of membership agreement, a Treaty revision would be most suitable. Furthermore, in the case of Britain, with many Scots wishing to remain part of the Union, the question arises whether part of the Member State can remain in the EU whilst another part of it withdraws.
The 1985 exit of Greenland – an autonomous country within the state of Denmark, a European Union member – from the European Communities was more of a reduction of the territorial jurisdiction of the Treaties since Greenland was never a Member State of the EU. Due to its formal status as a colony, Greenland then became an associated overseas territory (Article 204 TFEU) with special arrangements with the EU, particularly with regard to fisheries.26 However with regard to Scotland, since it is not a sovereign state, it could never be, as it is, a formal member of the EU as a sovereign state (Article 1 TEU on the High Contracting Parties). Thus, despite the Scottish opposition, it cannot remain in the EU if Britain exits and could only do so if it acquires the status of a sovereign State.27
Leave-campaigners did not speculate or agree on an alternative model of relationship between the UK and the EU; however alternative models of relationship exist.
The key-factor to which relationship is chosen mostly depends on the extent to which the UK wishes to avail itself in the EU single market28 in which case it would have to accept its ‘continued budget contributions, continued free movement of labour, and continued supremacy of EU law over British law in the single market.’29 Simon Witty recognises 5 alternative models of relationship: the Norwegian model; negotiated bilateral agreements; a customs union; a free trade agreement; and, a WTO membership, which may be chosen as a substitute to full membership.30
If the UK adopts the Norwegian model and decides to join the European Economic Area, then it would have significant access to the internal market, excluding the market of agriculture and fisheries. Through this model, the UK would not benefit from EU trade agreements, it would have to retain the law governing the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons and it would still have to significantly contribute towards the Union’s budget. It would still be excluded from decision-making and policy-making.
If the UK would want to access specific sectors of the market rather than the market as a whole like in the Norwegian model, the UK could opt for a negotiated bilateral agreement like in the case of Switzerland, which would allow the UK access to such specific sectors such as agriculture and fisheries in exchange for financial contribution to the Union.31 This model, which has been seen as time-consuming (since Switzerland has negotiated this agreement through various bilateral agreements)32 has raised doubts as to whether it could be created within the two-year time-frame, and would not allow the UK to participate in the drafting of laws and might require Britain to accept some of the EU’s rules on free movement of persons and others. Furthermore this type of agreement would require constant negotiation to ensure that the British rules are equivalent to the EU’s evolving acquis communautaire, as well as the acceptance of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.33
If the UK opts for a customs union as in the case of the EU-Turkey agreement, it would be able to export goods to the EU without having to comply with customs restrictions or tariffs; however, it would not be able to provide financial and professional services into the EU on the same level with EU Member State firms. It would only be able to benefit from non-tariff barriers in respect to both trade in goods and services if it opts for a free trade agreement as in the case of Canada which has undergone seven years of negotiations with the EU, in which case it would not be bound to financially contribute to the Union, although it would have to comply with certain EU standards with respect to its exports.
In the unlikely case that the UK does not seek to avail itself to a future relationship with the Union, it would rely solely on the rules of the World Trade Organization thus opting for a WTO membership, under which it would not be entitled to any benefit to non-tariff barriers either for goods or for services. Furthermore it would have no preferential access to the internal market or the markets with which the EU has trade agreements.
Under the World Trade Organisation rules, certain caps would apply on tariffs on goods whilst there would be limits imposed on particular non-tariff barriers applicable to goods and services. Furthermore, the UK would not be obliged to contribute financially to the Union or comply with certain regulations (save for any trade regulations). In such a manner Britain would be able to export to the EU without being subjected to the EU’s common external tariff; however, British exporters would be faced with non-tariff barriers that most non-EU countries like Russia and China face. If the UK doesn’t conclude an agreement by the term stipulated, then it would automatically revert to this relationship.34
Jean-Claude Piris adds two other relationship models; the free trade agreement and the specialised model. In the former model, the UK would be subjected to less tariffs then those prescribed by the World Trade Organisation whilst the second model would most likely take the form of something similar to the Norwegian model without the EEA membership so that the UK would gain access to the single market without having to be subjected to EU rules, the free movement of labour and the significant financial contribution.35
Piris suggests that the half-membership model which British Eurosceptics had been suggesting, in which the UK would not be subject to EU policies but would remain a full-voting member of the single market, is not possible due to the fact that the Treaties create no special status.36
Impacts on UK Law and contract-based rights
After the agreement has been concluded, the legal effect of the withdrawal would mean the end of the application of the Treaties and the Protocols thereto in the state concerned. This effectively means that rights and obligations deriving from the Treaties, any agreement between the EU and third countries or international organisations, as well any other EU law, save that which had been transposed into national law, would no longer apply, and the state concerned would need to enact new law to replace the lacunas left by the EU law, as well as to negotiate alternative arrangements.37 If the UK opts out of keeping the EU acquis, it would need to immediately draft new laws covering farming, fishing, competition policy, regional aid, and environmental standards, in order ‘to avoid a regulatory vacuum’ since these areas were previously covered by the European Communities Act of 1972.38 EU financial programmes and other EU norms would need to be addressed in the withdrawal agreement, which should also include provisions addressing the phasing out of EU financial programmes and other EU norms, as well as those regarding the transitional application of EU rules in particular those regarding rights deriving from EU citizenship.39
This means that unless legislation which was enacted into English law for the implementation or transposition of EU law, including the statutory instruments made pursuant to the European Communities Act 1972,40 is amended or repealed by national authorities, this would remain legally valid.41 Experts agree that if a future relationship between the Union and the withdrawing state is to survive, the withdrawing state cannot cut itself off completely from the effects of the EU acquis. Thus, influenced by the withdrawal arrangement and the future relationship it seeks to upkeep with the Union, the UK would have to determine which EU laws enacted by means of EU regulations which were directly applicable and EU-derived laws which had direct effect it would retain.42
UK financial law would probably be the most affected by the withdrawal since recently, the regulation of financial services has been significantly harmonized in EU states. Thus, part of the legislation exercised the UK would need to undergo would span to the UK government having to decide whether to retain, amend or repeal a number of important EU financial services legislation, including the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) IV and other aspects of the bank supervisory regime, the Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID) II and other aspects of the investment firms’ supervisory regime, the Solvency II Directive and other aspects of the insurance supervisory regime, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers’ Directive (AIFMD) and other aspects of the alternative investment management supervisory regime, the cap on bankers’ bonuses, the Prospectus Directive and the Transparency Directive and other aspects of the capital markets regime, and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and other aspects of the derivatives regime.43
UK financial institutions would be affected due to the fact that unless in the case that the Norwegian arrangement is implemented, UK-authorized firms and individuals would have no right to provide financial services in the EU on a ‘passported’ basis. The model which the UK chooses for its future relationship with the Union will also affect its corporate law, capital markets, competition law and tax44. Contractual disputes may arise due to the withdrawal bringing about the possibilities of the performance of contractual obligations or triggering a right to terminate contracts.45
Would the British still be able to enjoy rights deriving from EU citizenship? Whilst some scholars have argued that EU citizenship would endure irrespective of the membership or lack thereof of the state in the Union due to the fact that it might not be just for the nationals of the withdrawing state to lose their citizenship involuntarily, the vast majority of literature has argued that EU citizenship is ‘additional’ to a Member State’s nationality as per Article 20(1) TFEU and does not have a free-standing character. Unless a specific provision addressing those British citizens working in EU institutions exists within the withdrawal agreement, as per Article 28(a) of the EU Staff Regulations, such contract-based rights would cease to subsist, due to the fact that officials working in EU institutions must be ‘national(s) of one of the Member States of the Union.’
If the UK does not continue to participate in the single market, the ability of EU nationals to work in the UK and vice-versa, would most likely be effected as in a total exit, both EU and UK nationals would lose the right to work outside their borders when the transitional arrangements for the interim period cease to apply. If the Norwegian model for a future EU-UK relationship is adopted, EU nationals would be allowed to work in the UK without the need for authorization, whilst if the Swiss model was to be implemented, the UK would need to settle this issue in an agreement.
Apart from the composition of EU institutions which would have to change so that members from the withdrawing state would no longer hold their seats in the various European Union institutions and bodies,46 the EU Treaties would remain valid for the remainder of the EU Member States. The seats held by the MEPs of the withdrawing state would be either reduced from the total number of seats, or else could be redistributed between the other states either immediately or at the next election, withholding the maximum possible number of seats a country may have (Article 14(2) TEU).
Practically, no Member State could withdraw from the Union without the complex negotiations with the other Member States Article 50 brings about with it. This is because:
the interconnected nature of the modern EU with a common currency, a system of central banks, convergent fiscal policies, convergent taxation policies, a free internal market, common areas of consumer and environmental protection, competition policy and State aid regulations
would require ‘new mechanisms and adjustments to the conversion of an internal member of the EU to a third party’47 which were not truly addressed in international law. The procedural requirements set out in Article 50 outline the two-year process the withdrawing state would have to go through to conclude the withdrawal agreement, which would address the transitional state of both the Union and the country as well as the future relationship with the Union depending on the extent the state would want to isolate itself from the EU acquis. If there is to be a future EU-UK relationship, some sort of trading model or arrangement would have to be chosen depending on its benefits to both parties. However, despite any future relationship with the Union, if the UK is to effectively withdraw from its full membership, certain changes would undoubtedly be instituted including a change in composition of the EU institutions, a reform in the EU budget, a derogation of the rights and obligations found in the Treaties as well as other EU law with the effect of the UK having to enact new national legislation to fill in the lacuna that the withdrawal would bring about in its legislation.
References: 1 The result of the British referendum yielded 51.9% voting in favour and 48.1% voting against the Brexit. 2 Cowburn, 'Theresa May Clarifies Her Stance On Attempts To Remain Inside EU' (The Independent, 2016) <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-brexit-means-brexit-conservative-leadership-no-attempt-remain-inside-eu-leave-europe-a7130596.html> accessed 8 October 2016; John Crace, 'So Brexit Means Brexit Means Brexit. Is That It?’ (The Guardian, 2016) <https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/05/so-brexit-means-brexit-means-brexit-is-that-it> accessed 8 October 2016. 3 Article 50 TEU reads as follows: ‘1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. 2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. 3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period. 4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.’ 4 Ben Perry, 'Brexit: Legal Implications' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/24/brexit-legal-implications/> accessed 17 September 2016 5 Jeroen Jansen, Ana Laura Blanco and Anthony Callaert, 'Brexit Roadmap: An Overview On How The UK Will Leave The EU’ (DLA Piper, 2016) <https://www.dlapiper.com/en/uk/insights/publications/2016/07/brexit-roadmap/> accessed 17 September 2016. 6 ibid. 7 These include questions about what is to happen to the economy if the free market is not extended, what would happen to the trade to Europe, to the foreign direct investment, the liberalisation and regulation, the industrial policy, the immigration sector, financial services, the trade policy, the international influence and the EU budget. (Source: Global Counsel, 'BREXIT: The Impact On The UK And The EU' (2015) <https://www.global-counsel.co.uk/sites/default/files/special-reports/downloads/Global%20Counsel_Impact_of_Brexit.pdf> accessed 8 October 2016). 8 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 9 Article 62 Fundamental Change Of Circumstances: ‘1. A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty unless: (a) The existence of those circumstances constituted an essential basis of the con sent of the parties to be bound by the treaty; and (b) The effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligations still to be performed under the treaty. 2. A fundamental change of circumstances may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty: (a) If the treaty establishes a boundary; or (b) If the fundamental change is the result of a breach by the party invoking it either of an obligation under the treaty or of any other international obligation owed to any other party to the treaty. 3. If, under the foregoing paragraphs, a party may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty it may also invoke the change as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty.’ 10 Maastricht ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court (1993), Czech Constitutional Court on its ruling on the Lisbon Treaty (2009) Source: European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 11 Maastricht Treaty Articles 53 TEU and 356 TFEU. 12 See comments attached to the draft provision of the Constitutional Treaty (Article I-59): ‘The Praesidium considers that the Constitution must contain a provision on voluntary withdrawal from the Union. Although many consider that it is possible to withdraw even in the absence of a specific provision to that effect, the Praesidium feels that inserting a specific provision in the Constitution on voluntary withdrawal from the Union clarifies the situation and allows the introduction of a procedure for negotiating and concluding an agreement between the Union and the Member State concerned setting the arrangements for withdrawal and the framework for future relations. Moreover, the existence of a provision to that effect is an important political signal to anyone inclined to argue that the Union is a rigid entity which it is impossible to leave.’ 13 Susanne Lechner and Renate Ohr, 'The Right Of Withdrawal In The Treaty Of Lisbon: A Game Theoretic Reflection On Different Decision Processes In The EU' (2011) 32 European Journal of Law and Economics <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10657-009-9139-1> accessed 17 September 2016. 14 It has been an issue of debate whether the notification can be unilaterally revoked; many commentators have claimed that this would not be legally possible due to the fact that Article 50 TEU does not give leeway for revocation of notice, and expressly claims that the withdrawal agreement would need to end within two years (or later if extended). 15 Jeroen Jansen, Ana Laura Blanco and Anthony Callaert, 'Brexit Roadmap: An Overview On How The UK Will Leave The EU ' (DLA Piper, 2016) 16 These should cover the future relationship of the Member State with the EU, if any. 17 Through a resolution passed by the European Parliament in June, the Commission was appointed as the negotiator for the EU in the talks with the UK. 18 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 19 ibid. 20 Ben Perry, 'Brexit: Legal Implications' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/24/brexit-legal-implications/> accessed 17 September 2016. 21 Jeroen Jansen, Ana Laura Blanco and Anthony Callaert, 'Brexit Roadmap: An Overview On How The UK Will Leave The EU ' (DLA Piper, 2016). 22 Simon Witty, 'The Legal Consequences Of Brexit' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/27/the-legal-consequences-of-brexit/> accessed 17 September 2016. 23 This might arise from the role which MEP’s have which is that of representing the Union’s citizens as a whole rather than only the citizens of the Member state in which they were elected. 24 Jeroen Jansen, Ana Laura Blanco and Anthony Callaert, 'Brexit Roadmap: An Overview On How The UK Will Leave The EU' (DLA Piper, 2016). 25 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 26 Protocol 34 to the Treaties. 27 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 28 Ben Perry, 'Brexit: Legal Implications' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/24/brexit-legal-implications/> accessed 17 September 2016. 29 Centre for European Reform, 'If The UK Votes To Leave The Seven Alternatives To EU Membership' (2016) <https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/pb_piris_brexit_12jan16.pdf> accessed 9 October 2016. 30 Simon Witty, 'The Legal Consequences Of Brexit' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/27/the-legal-consequences-of-brexit/> accessed 17 September 2016. 31 HM Government, 'Alternatives To Membership: Possible Models For The United Kingdom Outside The European Union' (2016) <http://www.gov.uk/government/publications> accessed 9 October 2016. 32 There have been over a 100 individual agreements. 33 Centre for European Reform, 'If The UK Votes To Leave The Seven Alternatives To EU Membership' (2016) <https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/pb_piris_brexit_12jan16.pdf> accessed 9 October 2016. 34 Ben Perry, 'Brexit: Legal Implications' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/24/brexit-legal-implications/> accessed 17 September 2016. 35 Centre for European Reform, 'If The UK Votes To Leave The Seven Alternatives To EU Membership' (2016) <https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/pb_piris_brexit_12jan16.pdf> accessed 9 October 2016. 36 ibid. 37 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016). <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 38 Centre for European Reform, 'If The UK Votes To Leave The Seven Alternatives To EU Membership' (2016) <https://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/pb_piris_brexit_12jan16.pdf> accessed 9 October 2016. 39 European Parliamentary Research Service, 'Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal Of A Member State From The EU' (European Parliament 2016) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf> accessed 17 September 2016. 40 The European Communities Act 1971 primarily covers the current relationship between EU-UK law, providing for the supremacy of EU law over UK law, giving the UK government power to introduce delegated legislation to implement EU law generally and providing for the direct application of EU regulations and the direct effect of EU directives. 41 Simon Witty, 'The Legal Consequences Of Brexit' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/27/the-legal-consequences-of-brexit/> accessed 17 September 2016. 42 Ben Perry, 'Brexit: Legal Implications' <https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2016/06/24/brexit-legal-implications/> accessed 17 September 2016. 43 ibid. 44 ibid. 45 ibid. 46 This could take place in the transitional agreement. 47 Raymond J. Friel, 'Providing A Constitutional Framework For Withdrawal From The EU: Article 59 Of The Draft European Constitution' (2004) 53 The International and Comparative Law Quarterly <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3663091> accessed 17 September 2016.